2016 Gala Award Recipients


Distinguished Leadership Award

Guy Chiarello
President of First Data Corporation

awards_guyGuy Chiarello has been at the forefront of technology innovation for more than 20 years. Guy has led product development and technology for three Fortune 500 companies, advised some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and been recognized as one of the most prominent technology leaders in the industry. Guy is also a renowned philanthropist who has been recognized by numerous organizations for his charitable efforts.

Since joining First Data as president in 2013, Guy’s leadership has driven a transformation, bringing numerous solutions to market and acquiring several startups. Guy also played an integral role in guiding First Data to the largest U.S. IPO in 2015 when the company raised $2.8 billion. Previously, Guy was the CIO at JPMorgan Chase from 2007 – 2013, where he led global technology across all lines of business. Guy also served as the CIO of Morgan Stanley, where he began his career in financial services.

Vision and Venture Award

Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

award_LenLen Schleifer is the longest-serving CEO of a major U.S. biotechnology company. He founded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in 1988. Len graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Cornell University and was awarded his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Virginia, and is certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Len and George Yancopoulos have grown Regeneron over 25 years from a tiny startup to an over $40 billion market cap company with four FDA-approved drugs. Under Len’s leadership, the company has established key business collaborations and developed industry-leading technologies for drug discovery and development, resulting in a robust pipeline of monoclonal antibody candidates in areas of high unmet need. In 2011, Len was appointed by Governor Cuomo as co-chair of the Mid-Hudson Region Economic Development Council.

Vision and Venture Award

George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D.
President Regeneron Laboratories and Chief Scientific Officer
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

award_GeorgeGeorge Yancopoulos joined Regeneron in 1989 as its scientific founder and is currently the chief scientific officer and president of Regeneron Laboratories. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University. In the 1990s, George was the 11th most highly cited scientist in the world, and in 2004 he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences.

George, together with key members of his team, is a principal inventor and developer of four FDA-approved drugs. Regeneron’s foundational technologies have produced a robust pipeline of fully human antibodies targeting eye disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. In 2014, George and his team launched the Regeneron Genetics Center, a major new initiative in human genetic research that has already sequenced exomes from over 100,000 people.

Creative Entrepreneurship Award

Ayah Bdeir
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, littleBits

award_AyahAyah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. Ayah’s career and education have centered on making STEM/STEAM, 21st century learning and invention with technology more accessible to people around the world.

As an electrical engineer and alumna of the MIT Media Lab, Ayah founded littleBits in 2011 to democratize hardware and allow everyone, regardless of age, gender, technical ability or discipline, to be creative with electronics and reinvent their world. LittleBits has won more than 30 tech and education awards including an acquisition into the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) permanent collection, a Modern Library Gold Award and Parents’ Choice Gold Award.

Seidenberg Family Top of the Ladder Award

2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Science Career Ladder program. More than 3,500 students have worked as Explainers at NYSCI, moving up the rungs of the Science Career Ladder toward successful careers in STEM. Ninety-five percent of Explainers go on to college, compared to just 39 percent for an age-comparable New York City cohort, and 70 percent pursue careers in STEM. The Seidenberg Family Top of the Ladder Award celebrates the work that all NYSCI Explainers do, and most importantly, recognizes individuals who go above and beyond to support NYSCI’s mission.


award_ShateeshShateesh Bhugwansing, is a computer engineering major at Macaulay Honors College at City College. As a Design Lab resident at NYSCI, he utilized the opportunities and access provided by the Science Career Ladder to grow his skills and network. Last summer, Shateesh worked as an intern at IBM, an opportunity that resulted from an Explainer field trip to IBM’s Watson Research Center.


award_AnaAnna McPherran, graduate of Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, is now pursuing a doctorate in ecology. Since starting at NYSCI as an intern, she has developed her skills engaging in conversations around STEM, enriching her life as a scientist and educator. As a Design Lab resident, she supports the growth of her fellow Explainers and guides them in their own explorations.


award_layccaLaycca Umer, a SciPlay resident, has taken the skills she developed as an Explainer to further her own personal mission to bring playful learning experiences into formal environments. With a master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from City College, Laycca continues to integrate Design-Make-Play learning methodologies in all of her educational experiences.

Previous Award Recipients


Joseph L. Dionne
McGraw-Hill Companies

Richard A. Grasso
Chairman and CEO
New York Stock Exchange

Eugene R. McGrath
Chairman and CEO
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.


Paul A. Allaire
Xerox Corporation

John A. Roth
President and CEO
Nortel Networks

Honorable Claire Shulman
Borough of Queens


Thomas H. Glocer
Reuters Information and Reuters America Inc.

Paul M. Horn
Senior Vice President, Research
IBM Corporation

Herb Scannell
Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite


Alan Alda

David H. Komansky
Chairman and CEO
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.


Nicholas M. Donofrio
Senior Vice President, Technology & Manufacturing
IBM Corporation

Karen L. Katen
Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals

David A. Macaulay


John S. Hendricks
Founder, Chairman and CEO
Discovery Communications, Inc.

Donald H. Layton
Vice Chairman
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Sir Howard Stringer
Chairman and CEO
Sony Corporation of America
Vice Chairman
Sony Corporation


Red Burns
Professor and Chair of Interactive Telecom Program
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University

Gerald L. Hassell
The Bank of New York Company, Inc.

Fred Wilpon
Chairman and CEO
New York Mets


Ursula M. Burns
President, Business Group Operations
Xerox Corporation

Sallie L. Krawcheck
Chief Financial Officer


Corning Incorporated
accepted by James R. Houghton and Amory Houghton Jr.

William T. Golden

Steven R. Loranger
Chairman, President and CEO
ITT Corporation

Patricia F. Russo
Chairman and CEO
Lucent Technologies


John T. Chambers
Chairman and CEO
Cisco Systems

Marguerite and Joshua Lederberg

Judy C. Lewent
Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Merck & Co., Inc.

Catherine A. Rein
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer


Paula S. Apsell
Senior Executive Producer NOVA, Director of Science Unit

Francisco D’Souza
President and CEO
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation

Mike S. Zafirovski
President and CEO
Nortel Networks


Dr. Peter L. Salk
Vice President and Scientific Director
Jonas Salk Foundation

Linda S. Sanford
Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation
IBM Corporation


Prof. Salim T.S. Al-Hassani
Foundation for Science, Technology & Civilisation

Jack Hughes
Founder and Chairman
TopCoder, Inc.

William C. Rudin
Vice Chairman and CEO
Rudin Management Company, Inc.


accepted by Alfred Spector
Vice President, Research and Special Initiatives

Kevin Parker
Global CEO
Deutsche Bank Asset Management

John Slaughter
Former President and CEO
National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering


Ajay Banga
President and CEO

Jes Staley
Chairman, Corporate and Investment Bank
J.P. Morgan


Glenn Britt
Chairman and CEO
Time Warner Cable

Osamu Nagata
President and CEO
Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America


Denise L. Ramos
President and CEO
ITT Corporation

Jeanne M. Sullivan
StarVest Partners


Bob Greifeld

David Karp
Founder and CEO

Featured articles & events

corporate partners
Listed as one of Fortune Magazine's Biz Person of the Year, NYSCI is proud to honor Denise Ramos.
corporate partners
NYSCI is proud to honor Jeanne M. Sullivan with the Vision and Venture Award.
NYSCI is pleased to honor and bestow the 2014 Top of the Ladder Award to SciPlay Explainer Resident, Shakuntala (Devi) Gopal.

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